Gilbert: 2015 Hall of Fame candidate ratings by Win Shares

From SABR member Bill Gilbert at The Pecan Park Eagle on December 27, 2014:

One of the first items of business in baseball each year is the announcement of players elected to the Hall of Fame. This leads to lots of speculation and a little analysis prior to the announcement which is scheduled for January 6, 2015.

Many systems exist for evaluating player performance. One such system, the Win Shares method, developed by Bill James in 2002, is a complex method for evaluating players which includes all aspects of performance – offense, defense and pitching. James has stated that, “Historically, 400 Win Shares means absolute enshrinement in the Hall of Fame and 300 Win Shares makes a player more likely than not to be a Hall of Famer. However, future standards may be different. Players with 300-350 Win Shares in the past have generally gone into the Hall of Fame. In the future, they more often will not”.

The 2015 class of Hall of Fame candidates consists of 17 holdovers and 17 players eligible for the first time. Thirteen holdovers have over 300 Win Shares, Barry Bonds with 661, Roger Clemens 421, Craig Biggio 411, Tim Raines 390, Jeff Bagwell 387, Mark McGwire 342, Fred McGriff 326, Alan Trammell 318, Sammy Sosa 311, Mike Piazza 309, Larry Walker 307 and Edgar Martinez 305. Three newcomers have over 300 Win Shares, Gary Sheffield 430, Randy Johnson 326 and Carlos Delgado 303.

In 2014, three players received the necessary 75% of the vote for election by the Baseball Writers of America (BBWAA), Greg Maddux (97.2%), Tom Glavine (91.9%) and Frank Thomas (83.7%).. The 2014 ballot included 19 newcomers and 17 returning candidates. Other than the three players elected, only two others, Mike Mussina (20.3%) and Jeff Kent (15.2%) received the necessary 5% of the votes required to remain on the ballot. Rafael Palmeiro with 569 home runs and 3020 hits dropped off the ballot in his 4th year with only 4.4% of the votes. Jack Morris (61.5%) dropped off the ballot after failing to win election for 15 years.

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Originally published: December 29, 2014. Last Updated: December 29, 2014.